How the job market fares for the new year

- Since the recession ended in 2010, California has gained 2.5 million jobs. Last year we were at 5.9% unemployment. Today, it's 5.3%. 

Michael Bernick is a long-time labor lawyer and a former Director of the Employment Development Department in the first Jerry Brown Administration when many people simply thought of it as the unemployment office as opposed to today's job resource, training and unemployment insurance delivery system. 

He says the year began with 16.2 million payroll jobs. Since then we've added 330 thousand new jobs, putting our today at 16.6 million.
Bernick says, "Well we're now on our 81st month of employment expansion since 2010 and this is one of the longest employment expansions in California since World War II. And there's nothing on the horizon that suggests that this growth can't continue".
The big categories getting the most jobs include business services such as accounting and human resources. Construction as well as leisure and hospitality also posted big gains.
Bernick adds, "And our manufacturing sector that is often said to be dead here in California, we still have 1.25 million jobs. It's still a health sector".
With 4.6% unemployment nationwide, do the nation and California have enough people to fill the millions of new jobs Preisdent-Elect Trump promises?
"I think there's no question we do and we certainly also have the training capacity between the Workforce Development Board, the community colleges and the other groups," says Bernick.
Many of our new jobs are part time, contingent, project-based or pick-up gigs witihout real benefits and steady 40 hour a week employment.
However, if and when more permanent jobs arise, many in those less than traditional job situations will find full time positions with better pay.  
Bernick says, "Well I think we're beginning to already see that wages will go up and I think there's no question that as the labor market gets tighter, we'll see wages driven up."
And though automation is permanently killing off jobs, if technology follows its traditional path, it will lead to more, newer and better jobs in the future.
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